What Does Cigar Wrapper Discolouration Mean?

store your cigars in a humidor

Have you ever gone to get a cigar from your collection and noticed it has a slight stain on the wrapper? If it cannot be wiped away, then it is likely to be a discolouration of the wrapper from a fault in the leaf’s pigmentation. 

We take a look at what this discolouration can mean, and if it affects your cigar smoking experience. 

 

Cigar Mould

One potential issue with cigars is cigar plume – this is not a discolouration issue but can make your cigar appear to have white patches on it. 

Cigar Mould, also known as plume, occurs when the oils in the tobacco leach out of the finished cigar and appear on the surface of the wrapper as a fine white powder. This seems to be most likely to be present when a cigar is humidified in an enclosed environment like a small humidor or in packs. We inspect every packed cigar for this issue to make sure you’ll never get a cigar with mould issues. Friends of Habanos have done a fantastic study on this if you would like to learn more about this issue.

Recent studies have shown than the idea of plume is actually a myth and it is actually mould, normally it can simply be brushed off the cigar. It shouldn’t leave a mark when wiped away as it is purely on the surface of the wrapper – if it does reveal a stain and is not just on the surface of the wrapper but within the cigar, it most likely means the cigar is beyond saving, and the cigar should be discarded. 

 

Green Discolouration 

If your cigar features a green stain, understandably, you may worry that it is mould. Luckily, it is more likely to be from chlorophyll – the substance that makes plants green. 

Green stains can be left on a cigar wrapper if the tobacco has been dried at too high a temperature, but too low a humidity. In these conditions, the chlorophyll will not be properly broken down and may leave a green patch on the cigar wrapper. 

There shouldn’t be a problem with smoking a cigar that has a chlorophyll green stain.

 

Black Discolouration 

If your cigar has a black patch, it may be to do with too much humidity during the tobacco drying process. This is because the sugars in the leaves are not broken down properly, and this can cause black marks. 

If your cigar has black stains, then it may give a fresher feeling during smoking and may cause a scratchy throat feeling, which can be unpleasant. 

 

Yellow Discolouration

Yellow stains on your cigar can appear when a cigar is dried at an insufficient humidity. This would be considered a wrapper fault, and this shouldn’t be used to make a cigar. It is possible for cigars to be found with this fault, though.

 

White Discolouration 

If your cigar has a white, blurred stain next to a leaf vein and up to 1cm in size, then it could be from the effects of blue mould. While blue mould is not good for green tobacco, once the leaves have been fermented and aged, it should not impact the burn or taste of your cigar.

A smaller white stain, the size of a sesame seed, reveals that the tobacco leaf had a Cercospora fungus infection before it was harvested. This fungus feeds in the chlorophyll in the leaf, which is why there are small white marks. It doesn’t affect the integrity of the leaf or impact the taste. 


Here at Havana House, all of our cigars are thoroughly checked before they are sold to ensure that you are getting a quality smoke without faults that could spoil your experience. Check out our selection of cigars online in the UK to discover your next smoking adventure!

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